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Seven Simple Truths from the Cherokee

Seven Simple Truths from the Cherokee

We may not always have control over what happens to us, but we always have a choice over what happens inside us.
–J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett

These clear and simple truths are based on traditional American Indian beliefs. They illuminate the values underlying the Cherokee vision of the Full Circle, and they can help us begin living our lives in more connected, healed, and whole ways.

1. We are our own best experts. No one knows us better than us. Nobody but us has seen with our eyes the things weve seen, and most importantly, no one but us has experienced our lives in quite the same way that we have. What others do know of us, they know only through what they see and what we tell them. It is our choice whether or not to invite others to see with our eyes or walk in our shoes; it is their choice whether or not to do so.

2. We are our own worst enemies. No one does a better job of deceiving us or treating ourselves badly than we do. No one can do a better job of finding ways to ignore our innermost thoughts and fears than we can. Certainly, other people may try to make us feel badly, or want us to be different than we are; however, their success depends on our willingness to let them succeed in doing so. Our success in doing ourselves wrong depends solely on intention.

3. The worst thing about having so many choices is having to choose. No one can say for sure who is truly worse off: the one who is forced to do something and wishes she or he could do something entirely different, or the one who freely chooses to do something and later regrets it.

4. Imagination is the one true measure of freedom. Its not a matter of what you can or cannot do, but what you think you can or cannot do that matters. Inevitably, the rest will follow in time. Being open to experience or the possibilities of every situation reflects the inner strength of one who has established harmony within oneself.

5. Wisdom is having more questions than answers. The one who has found all the answers to his or her questions has run out of questions. The one who has run out of questions has run out of learning. A person who ceases to learn has also ceased to experience. And a person who has run out of experience cannot be wise.

6. Search long and hard enough for something and youll surely find it. Sometimes we look for something when there is nothing. However, if we keep looking for it to be there, almost miraculously it will be–this is especially true of limitations. Moreover, the harder we look for a certain quality of limitation, the more likely it is to appear before our very eyes. At the same time, if you look too hard for something you might miss it altogether.

7. Sometimes we try so hard to be what were not that we may forget who we are. Our nature provides us with opportunities for becoming something much greater than ourselves. However, if a circle tries to bend by ignoring its center, its no longer a circle.

Read more: Spirit, Guidance, Inspiration, Self-Help

Adapted from The Cherokee Full Circle, by J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett (Inner Traditions, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from The Cherokee Full Circle, by J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett (Inner Traditions, 2002).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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The Cherokee Full Circle

A practical guide to ceremonies and traditions.buy now

25 comments

+ add your own
8:43PM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

8:43PM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

8:42PM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

8:41PM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

1:57PM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

That's great. Thanks for posting.

8:52PM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Love it! Thank you! We must all choose to love ourselves first, then love can emanate from us!

5:30AM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Thanks!

10:34PM PDT on Jun 9, 2012

thanks.

7:58AM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Words to live by

6:54PM PST on Feb 7, 2012

Good words.

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